General Automation Thread

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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Gandalf » 2018-01-28 01:06pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-01-25 05:05pm
Zaune wrote:
2018-01-25 07:23am
From my own experience working in a warehouse? I don't think it would be technically difficult to fully automate it, but the technology would have to be really mature and readily avbailable before it became competitive with badly-paid, expendable day labourers.
The picking small items is definitely a bit of a challenge, but that can be circumvented by creating a sort of automated dispenser that you load the small items into. Someone orders a Chapstick on Amazon, an envelope is spat out at one end of the warehouse, robot arm picks it up and zooms down to ChapDisp1, which spits out a chapstick into the envelope, robot zooms to MailBot 4 and drops envelope, MailBot picks it up, closes it, pastes a shipping label, and drops into a mailing box. When dispenser runs out, a loader-bot pulls it out and slots in another straight from the Chapstick factory.
One could also alter packaging for better synergy with logistical machinery. A chapstick is an awkward cylinder, but in a small rectangular cardboard box becomes far easier to handle for robotic appendages.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-02-09 12:50pm

Let's talk about self driving cars.

The supply for organ transplants may go down
, due to fewer accidents on the road. What will the consequences of that be? Who here is knowledgeable about organs and donors? What are your thoughts?


Meanwhile, the Tesla trucks are coming
Wired
AUTHOR: AARIAN MARSHALLAARIAN MARSHALL
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11.17.1707:00 AM
WHAT DOES TESLA'S AUTOMATED TRUCK MEAN FOR TRUCKERS?

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On Thursday night, Elon Musk rolled out Tesla's biggest gizmo yet: a fully electric semitruck. The Semi can go a whopping 500 miles between charges, hauling 80,000 pounds along the way. And it can sorta, kinda drive itself—on highways, anyway. The truck comes with Enhanced Autopilot, the second generation of Tesla's semiautonomous technology, equipped with automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure warnings.

"Every truck we sell has Autopilot as standard," Musk said of the Semi, which goes into production in 2019. "This is a massive increase in safety."

That may be true—about 4,000 Americans die in truck-related collisions every year, and human error is responsible for many of them. Self-driving trucks will certainly change lives. That goes double for the nearly 3.2 million people currently employed as delivery and heavy truck drivers. But we don't know how: A dearth of research means that no one really knows what effect automation will have on the sector. It's clear that truck driving will change, though, and companies testing autonomous trucking today in Florida and California and elsewhere show what that new future might look like.

Driving Today
Trucking jobs are, as a recent report from the Washington, DC, think tank Global Policy Solutions points out, solid, middle class jobs. The median annual wage for delivery and heavy truck drivers is $34,768, 11 percent higher than the country's median wage. Trucking has also been an opportunity for black, Hispanic, and Native American workers, who have faced serious, race-based barriers to entry in other blue collar jobs and are now overrepresented in the industry. Many trucking jobs are unionized, and the gig doesn’t require an advanced education. You probably won't get rich doing it, but driving a truck is an option for those—men, in many cases—who might otherwise have done the kind of factory work that's left the country in the last three decades or so. Losing these jobs outright could devastate them.

Truck driving is, at the same time, a not-so-great job. Driving is solitary, physically inert, and psychologically exhausting. And long-haul truckers can be on the road—and away from family and friends—for months at a time. So people leave. In fact, there aren't enough truck drivers to go around. The American Trucking Associations reports the annual driver turnover for large truckload carriers reached a whopping 90 percent this year, and it projects a 50,000-driver shortage by the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, the freight shipping industry grows like Elon Musk's plans for the future. Today, trucks carry 70 percent of all goods shipped in the US, about 10.7 billion tons this year, pulling in $719 billion in revenue. And thanks to a burgeoning economy and population, ATA expects the industry to swell by 3.4 percent annually until 2023. Robo-trucking could help the sector dodge growing pains.

And, better, autonomous driving on highways should be easier to figure out than driving in cities, because those big rigs don't need to navigate pedestrians, cyclists, and traffic lights. That means most of the country's first experiences with driverless vehicles may be in the form of 70,000-pound trucks, instead of the kinds of driverless taxi services testing in sections of Pittsburgh and Arizona.

Driving Tomorrow
But what does the future look like for truck drivers? That kind of depends on how you define trucking. Because autonomous big rigs aren't going to be 100 percent autonomous, at least not in the near or medium future.

For example: Peloton Technology, a 6-year-old startup, envisions “platooning” trucks that can travel in packs and “talk” to each other via radio waves. Drivers in these trucks need only sit at the wheel if their vehicle leads the platoon; others can fill out paperwork, nap, or sit at a laptop and manage the fleet’s logistics network (though they'll probably need more training for that). Autonomous startup Embark sees a future in which drivers are more like tug boat pilots, waiting at a highway’s exit ramp for self-driving trucks to arrive and driving them into “port”—in this case, a distribution center. (The company announced this week it’s using semiautonomous vehicles to ship refrigerators between Texas and California, though today there’s always a safety driver inside to monitor the tech.)

The trucker doesn't even need to be in the truck: Starsky Robotics—a Silicon Valley startup that employs six full-time truck drivers—would put the driver behind a screen, in a call center-like office. The company, which today is testing and collecting data on Florida highways, envisions one joystick-equipped driver manually guiding trucks through the trickier bits of operations, though construction zones and the last few miles between an interstate and distribution center, while the computer handles the bulk of the simpler, highway driving tasks. One driver might be able to handle up to 30 trucks per eight-hour shift, the company predicts. “These would be remote drivers who get to go home at the end of the day,” says founder Stefan Steltz-Axmacher.

But yes, trucks that drive themselves are going to need fewer people to drive, and Goldman Sachs economists predict all driving industries could lose up to 300,000 jobs a year to automation. Still, those effects won’t kick in for decades. “This technology will be introduced sooner than people think, but take a longer time to diffuse through the country,” says Jonny Morris, who heads up policy for Embark. At first, these vehicles might be constrained to certain parts of the US, maybe those with good weather. (At this point, self-driving sensors do not love snow That could give drivers time to retrain, or retire. (The median age of a truck driver today is 49).

Not surprisingly, the Teamsters are skeptical. “It’s not just job loss,” Sam Loesche, a legislative representative for the Teamsters, told WIRED in September. “It’s also what happens to the working conditions of the person who remains in the cab. How do we protect the livelihood of the driver who may be pushed to operate on a 24-hour continual basis because the company is claiming he’s in the back of a cab?” The union, which represents almost 600,000 truck drivers, is also concerned that that lower demand for actual, human workers could mean lower wages overall.

The trucking jobs that do go away will affect some states more than others. That report from the Washington think-tank Global Policy Solutions notes that states with high shares of trucking industry employees, including North Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Indiana, would be the most vulnerable. But not enough research is being done on the effects of automation on the trucking industry in the first place.

Maya Rockeymoore, who directs Global Policy Solutions and helped write the trucking report, says she’s been surprised by how little thought lawmakers, policymakers, and the automotive industry itself have given to the repercussions of their technology. When she took the report to industry meetings and congressional offices, “it wasn’t clear that any of them had done any modeling or forecasting or research about the impact of their disruptive technologies on the labor market before developing their technology,” she says. "It signals, perhaps, that disruption and the value of disruption itself as being a more important factor than the impact on society." The first bill regulating self-driving technology is working its way through Congress, but commercial vehicles like trucks aren't likely to be included in the final legislation. That means states will continue to decide individually how to regulate self-driving trucks on their roads.

Morris, of Embark, says this lack of research is partly out of necessity. “It’s much easier to measure the things that you have now that might go away,” says Morris. “It’s much harder to measure the things that will be created through innovation.” Cars might have killed the buggy whip industry, but they created jobs in the hospitality industry, the oil and gas industry ... and trucking.

Tons More Trucks
Get all the deets on the new fully electric Tesla Semi from Alex Davies, who was on hand for its big debut.

Today—right now, even—semiautonomous trucks powered by the startup Embark are hauling fridges between Texas and California.

Uber launches its freight division. Can the ridehailing giant disrupt shipping the way it did taxis?
So, trucking jobs may be fading away, and we might see a reduction in available organs due to safer roads and fewer accidents.

Thoughts?
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-09 01:07pm

Well I know one issue with long haul trucking is drivers have to take mandatory breaks. If they can use the autopilot to continue driving during these breaks, freight can get delivered faster... but will they get bonuses, because technically THEY didn't drive it? (probably a silly question)

More realistically I don't see the autopilots being approved for use on the road just yet. Stuff like remote driving though is interesting, and I can see it being regulated somewhat similarly to drones because it's basically just a drone on wheels.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-02-10 02:06pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-02-09 01:07pm
Well I know one issue with long haul trucking is drivers have to take mandatory breaks. If they can use the autopilot to continue driving during these breaks, freight can get delivered faster... but will they get bonuses, because technically THEY didn't drive it? (probably a silly question)

More realistically I don't see the autopilots being approved for use on the road just yet. Stuff like remote driving though is interesting, and I can see it being regulated somewhat similarly to drones because it's basically just a drone on wheels.
I wonder if this will necessitate the creation of smart car only roads, to make the routes safer? And if/when that happens, what happens to the non-smart car roads? Would there be a similarity to the way toll roads are funded better than regular highways and regular roads?
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-10 09:41pm

That would be quite a large cost for what's probably going to start out as a fairly small phenomenon initially. The main hurdle is going to be government approval, and then getting auto-makers into the business. If Google is the only one making self-driving cars, it's going to have major competition from Ford, Chevrolet, and so forth (all of whom I'm sure are fairly interested in the technology as well)
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-12 11:39am

The problem is that the main expense in building a self-driving car is the software development, the 'brain,' not the automotive engineering, the 'body.' Google can design a brain and buy a car to put it in a lot more easily than Ford can design a car and buy a brain to put in it.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-02-09 01:07pm
Well I know one issue with long haul trucking is drivers have to take mandatory breaks. If they can use the autopilot to continue driving during these breaks, freight can get delivered faster... but will they get bonuses, because technically THEY didn't drive it? (probably a silly question)

More realistically I don't see the autopilots being approved for use on the road just yet. Stuff like remote driving though is interesting, and I can see it being regulated somewhat similarly to drones because it's basically just a drone on wheels.
The main problem is that most airborne drones could conceivably cause property damage or kill someone, whereas a drone that is in effect an eighteen-wheeler truck is orders of magnitude more dangerous if something goes wrong.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-12 07:15pm

As noted in the article, they are trialing *semi* autonomous features in some trucks now apparently. Some form of auto-pilot, coupling multiple trucks, etc, with a driver still present in the vehicle.

From a safety standpoint if nothing else, I can see there being a manning requirement for semi trucks that doesn't exist for autonomous automobiles. Perhaps the truck is driven most of the way by remote piloting or an autopilot, but the driver takes over at the start and the end or whenever unusual circumstances such as roadwork, accidents, or traffic pop up. In the meantime the long-haul periods on the interstates are considered a rest period because the driver can take forty winks in the bunk if necessary, and the future-Waze sets off an alarm if it notices something happening down the road.

As far as cars go: there's a reason there aren't many automakers selling in the US outside the American brands and a few Asian brands. The big names have a stranglehold on the market, and won't be happy if Google starts putting its toes in the pond. If Google is forced to buy automobiles from other brands and put in their software, that'll just add extra costs that will make drivers less likely to purchase their vehicles.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-02-14 05:14am

Washington Post
Pizza Hut boldly says driverless delivery will actually create more jobs
By Danielle Paquette

January 11, 2018 at 11:34 AM


This week, Pizza Hut unveiled plans to launch a fleet of driverless delivery vans — a sign that automation has reached the world of greasy comfort food. Then the chain did something pizza makers rarely do: It offered an economic theory on Twitter.

After a user pointed out that driverless cars could destroy the need for drivers, Pizza Hut said the technology might just boost demand for human workers.

“It actually could create more jobs by opening the pool of ‘drivers’ to those who do not own vehicles,” Pizza Hut tweeted Tuesday. “They might act more as servers, focusing on hospitality.”


This statement from a brand account touches on a topic economists have been debating since robots started changing the way we work: Will machines steal our jobs, or will they unleash other employment options?

“It’s hard to forecast exactly what is going to happen,” said David Beede, an economist at the Commerce Department. “Workers in occupations that deliver goods and services, like pizza delivery people — those types of work activities are most at risk of displacement by self-driving vehicles.”

It’s too early to know what such displacement could look like, he said. Delivery drivers could face mass layoffs, or some could transition into roles the Pizza Hut brand account hinted at on Twitter.

“Instead of driving, they could do more customer service work,” he said, such as monitoring the vehicles, making sure they’re running correctly and answering customer questions on the status of their pizza delivery.


Although Ford, General Motors, Google, Apple and other companies have all poured major resources into driverless cars, the models have a long way to go before they flood American roads.

“These technologies don’t work perfectly yet,” said Michael Chui, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, the consulting group’s economics research arm. “They’re not great in the rain or snow. There are issues when lane markings aren’t clear.”

Pizza Hut did not respond to The Post’s request for comment. The fast-casual giant has publicly announced a partnership with Toyota, which is now developing the “e-Palette,” a driverless vehicle that looks like a cross between a bullet train and a van. (Amazon and Uber have also signed up to work with the technology.)

Despite the hype this week, Toyota said the concept is “envisioned for use in the 2030s” and declined to comment on how it could help create jobs or any other potential economic impacts.

“Our plans going forward include feasibility testing, with the timing and other details still being considered at this time,” said Ming-Jou Chen, a safety technology communications manager for Toyota Motor North America.

Still, the government predicts the technology will reshape a “wide range” of jobs held by 1 in 9 American workers, according to a 2017 report by Beede and his fellow economists at the Commerce Department.

About 3.8 million people drive trucks, taxis, ambulances and other vehicles for paychecks, and they’re likely to be “displaced” by the coming wave of automation, Beede found. The researchers did not say how, exactly, they would be displaced.


The Commerce Department did not study the potential for new job creation, either.

Tom Davenport, a business professor at Babson College in Massachusetts and co-author of “Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines,” predicted a bleaker future for delivery drivers.

“Human drivers are more expensive and less reliable,” he said, “and the fast food delivery workforce is pretty transient: It’s hard to get them, and it’s hard to keep them.”

Companies like Pizza Hut, he said, will be more motivated to increase productivity and save money. They could add more customer service workers, but that’s likely to happen only when it benefits the bottom line.

Then again, customers might be miffed if they have to walk outside to get their pizzas.

“Some companies might choose to compete with delivery drivers as a luxury thing,” Davenport said, “and offer to bring hot food to your doorstep.”
Okay, let's take Pizza Hut at their word for a moment, and customers demand that the pizza arrive at their front door. What would be the point of automating the delivery vehicle to deliver pizzas? Or are accidents a huge cost that this will sidestep, while still having pizza delivery guys?
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-14 11:42am

Of COURSE Pizza Hut is going to play it up as 'creating more jobs'. That makes them look better. One of my best friends back in college was a pizza delivery driver, and boy does she have some stories. Suffice it to say that if the pizza corporations can fuck over the employees... they'll do it in a flat second.

If you've seen that video of a robot opening a door that's been making the rounds of Facebook... they're not very far from making one that can ride a driverless vehicle, pop out at the delivery location and carry a pizza to the door. Once they do that, the humans get kicked to the curb.

There is still some merit to the notion of having a smiling face hand you your pizza in person, but frankly, most of the customers aren't going to care, and they'll be happy not having to tip.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-02-14 02:44pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-02-14 11:42am
Of COURSE Pizza Hut is going to play it up as 'creating more jobs'. That makes them look better. One of my best friends back in college was a pizza delivery driver, and boy does she have some stories. Suffice it to say that if the pizza corporations can fuck over the employees... they'll do it in a flat second.

If you've seen that video of a robot opening a door that's been making the rounds of Facebook... they're not very far from making one that can ride a driverless vehicle, pop out at the delivery location and carry a pizza to the door. Once they do that, the humans get kicked to the curb.

There is still some merit to the notion of having a smiling face hand you your pizza in person, but frankly, most of the customers aren't going to care, and they'll be happy not having to tip.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is them getting rid of pesky delivery drivers and cutting costs that way. I was just trying to see if their reasoning had any merit to it at all, or if it's too blatant a lie to cover their actions.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-14 03:25pm

Well, I'm sure some drivers might end up doing something else for the company, but by the same token, some workers on the counters and the ovens will get fired and replaced by some of the drivers. Displaced labor has to go somewhere, either the unemployment line or another job. Since there's no obvious reason why displacing 100 pizza delivery driver jobs would create 100 new jobs at the same company, the result is a mix of "musical chairs" and people having to find other work.

Now, more generally we can imagine other kinds of employment opening up for other reasons, it's just that those jobs probably aren't at Pizza Hut.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-02-14 03:46pm

Well there already is the automated pizza maker. So I doubt that the former pizza delivery drivers could find respite at the ovens.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-02-20 10:01pm

Robotaxi permit gets Arizona’s OK; Waymo will start service in 2018
On Friday, we discovered that Waymo, the self-driving Google spinoff, has been granted a permit to operate as a Transportation Network Company in the state of Arizona. This means that it can launch an official ride-hailing service and start charging customers for their journeys. It also confirms the findings of a recent report that put Waymo at the front of the autonomous vehicle pack, meaning my colleague Tim Lee was right when he said the launch of a commercial operation by Waymo in Arizona was imminent.

Arizona has become a popular state for autonomous vehicle programs. It has rather permissive testing oversight compared to California, for example. That, plus well-maintained roads and little harsh weather, has encouraged both Uber and Waymo to expand their presence in Phoenix.

In recent months, self-driving cars have become commonplace in the city. Waymo has been running a pilot program that lets people hail rides in its cars, at first with safety engineers riding in the driver’s seat, but fully driverless since November 2017. Evidently that hasn't thrown up any red flags to prevent this expansion.

"As we continue to test drive our fleet of vehicles in greater Phoenix, we're taking all the steps necessary to launch our commercial service this year," a spokesperson for Waymo told Ars.

Among those steps are adding more vehicles to the fleet and figuring out how to take care of them all. To that end, Waymo has ordered "thousands" of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, and it has partnered with Avis to handle the fleet maintenance.
Taxi companies in Arizona look pretty screwed.

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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-02-21 04:26am

So it begins. I would love to get Raw Shark's take on this.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-02-24 04:46pm

Meanwhile, in Asia, to help with profit losses, 4 billion is invested into automated tech for Foxconn's cell phone production.

Nikkei

Though, this is probably welcome due to labor conditions, I do wonder what these employees will do now.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-03-04 07:44am

Imagine a farm that doesn't need any humans at all. That is now possible: Futurism
Crops Are Harvested Without Human Input, Teasing the Future of Agriculture
HandsFree Hectare
IN BRIEF
Hands Free Hectare has proven that robots are perfectly capable of raising crops without people. With other companies using automation for various agricultural purposes, it's clear farming is due for a major change.
Hands Free Hectare (HFH) is a company based in the United Kingdom that set out to develop automated agriculture — from planting and monitoring, to maintenance and eventual harvesting. The group has accomplished their task with two harvests, one of winter wheat and one of barley, proving autonomous vehicles and drones can handle the farming process without a single person stepping out onto the field.

“We have been able to show the public that this is something that isn’t too far ahead in the future, and it could be happening now,” Martin Abell, one of the researchers at HFH, told ABC Rural. “It has also allowed us to raise the perception of agriculture to the public, so they see it as a forward-thinking industry and something that might attract new people to the industry.”

Including the work done by HFH, nearly every element of farming can be handled by robots, even detecting diseases and killing weeds. And it’s not just crops that are seeing automated agriculture. Chinese farmers have implemented automation and artificial intelligence to keep track of pigs and monitor their health as well as their overall well being. There’s also Aspire, which uses a robotic system to raise crickets that will be used to make mainstream, protein-filled snacks.



If HFH’s work is anything to go by, though, time of day and weather are still factors automation isn’t fully prepared for; for example, when raining, the automated tractor would slip and have a hard time maintaining a straight line.

It’s unclear when, exactly, we’ll see more farms transition to automation here in the U.S. Yet we should expect it to happen in the near future, as companies like John Deere invest in other companies that specialize in applying automation to agriculture. Cricket-farming Aspire also operates out of the United States, and it’s possible their success will inspire others to turn to automated agriculture to raise animals and crops for food.

Hands Free Hectare is hoping they have the same effect. “It’s going to take new talent entering the industry to develop this technology,” said the group’s mechatronics researcher, Jonathan Gill, in a press release. “We hope this project helps to inspire people and show them the range of interesting and innovative jobs that are available now in agriculture.”


So, this seems to be in the conceptual phase, but imagine what are the consequences of this becoming completely autonomous?
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-03-06 06:49am

Humans slapped and shouted at robot cars in two of six DMV crash reports this year
By RUSS MITCHELL
MAR 05, 2018 | 2:15 PM
| SAN FRANCISCO


The human response to possible takeover by robot overlords is off to a troubling start.

Of six crash reports involving robot cars filed in California so far this year, two involved a human approaching the car and attacking it.

On Jan. 2, a Chevy Bolt EV operated by General Motors' Cruise driverless car division in San Francisco's Mission District was waiting at a green light for pedestrians to cross when a man "ran across Valencia Street against the 'do not walk' symbol, shouting, and struck the left side of the Cruise AV's rear bumper and hatch with his entire body," damaging a tail light, according to a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

No one was injured and police were not called, the report said. The car was in autonomous mode but a driver was behind the wheel, as required by current law.

On Jan. 28, a GM Cruise Bolt EV with a human driving the car stopped behind a taxi on Duboce Avenue in San Francisco, when "the driver of the taxi exited his vehicle, approached the Cruise AV, and slapped the front passenger window, causing a scratch," the incident report said. There were no injuries and police were not called.

How a hand slap could scratch windshield glass was a subject the report left undiscussed.

Cars capable of autonomous operation can be legally tested on public roads in California with permits if a human sits behind the steering wheel, ready to take control. Crashes, however minor, must be reported to the DMV.

Of the six accidents reported so far in 2018, three were in autonomous mode and three in manual mode. The four that did not involve human attack were of the fender-bender variety. None involved injuries and damage ranged from minor to none.

Newly issued regulations will allow cars with permits to be driven on public roads with no human driver on board starting April 2. The crash-report requirement will remain.

Last year, 27 accident reports were filed.
Seems some people are unhappy enough about self-driving cars that they are attacking them. I can see attacks getting more frequent.

As for the report requirement, does anyone know if the report writing has been automated yet ?

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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-06 08:19am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-03-04 07:44am
So, this seems to be in the conceptual phase, but imagine what are the consequences of this becoming completely autonomous?
In the US, further economic collapse of rural areas, where agriculture was always the predominant industry and where no viable alternative exists to drive the local economy. Hopefully finally some movement on the US's weird paralyzing system of agricultural subsidies, which always existed nominally to benefit farmers who are (in this future scenario) being displaced by automation in ever-greater numbers.

Because while I can sympathize with subsidizing Farmer Brown's corn harvest so that he can afford to send his children to college, I can't sympathize with subsidizing Corporate Headquarters for the commendable public service of having their robots grow lots of corn.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-03-06 01:25pm

Aren't farms heavily corporatized at this point anyway? If not outright owned by corporations, the foodstuff produced is largely sold to them? And the notion of the 'small family farm' is largely a thing of the past?

Last Thanksgiving I visited my in-laws in Mississippi, in some very rural farming country. But there were almost no family farms to be seen. Some herds. Certainly several garden patches (it being so late in the year it's hard to tell though). There were very few businesses, mostly far apart. We're talking Dollar General type convenience stores, the occasional gas station. This is a part of the country where "towns" will be a few businesses around an intersection, maybe a subdivision or two, and then scattered houses for miles around. As in, half a hour in between "towns", easily. So I suspect unemployment is probably a major issue in the area, and gas costs are likely a major part of family budgets given the distances involved merely to go shopping, leave alone drive to jobs. This suggests that in areas like that, at least, farm subsidies are as much welfare for families as they are propping up "farms".

These areas have *already* collapsed economically. Automated farms will only make this worse because if people can't afford to invest in them, they won't be able to match the productivity automation causes. The only answers will be to specialize-- I'm certain there will still be crops and produce that can't be automated, at least for awhile-- or to go bust.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-03-09 12:38pm

Apparently the burger flipper robot only lasted one day according to the radio. It has to be upgraded to be quicker.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-03-09 03:37pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-03-06 01:25pm
Aren't farms heavily corporatized at this point anyway?
They are. But not across the entire world, not yet.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-03-09 11:26pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-03-09 12:38pm
Apparently the burger flipper robot only lasted one day according to the radio. It has to be upgraded to be quicker.
According to Grubstreet, it both needed upgrades, and staff trained to work around it.

So, it needs someone or something to feed patties onto the grill, add cheese, and put the cooked patties onto buns. I wonder when such machines will be made.
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-03-19 08:33pm

CNN
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Uber self-driving car kills pedestrian in first fatal autonomous crash
By Matt McFarland March 19, 2018: 1:40 PM ET
Uber has removed its self-driving cars from the roads following what is believed to be the first fatality involving a fully autonomous car.

A self-driving Uber SUV struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bicycle across a street in Tempe, Arizona, Sunday night, according to the Tempe police. The department is investigating the crash.

Rafael Vasquez, a 44-year-old test driver from Uber, was behind the wheel of the Volvo XC90 SUV at the time, the police said.


Based on preliminary information, the car was going approximately 40 mph in a 35 mph zone, according to Tempe Police Detective Lily Duran.

Police say the investigation does not at this time show significant signs of the SUV slowing before the crash. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office will determine whether charges will be filed.

"The vehicle involved is one of Uber's self-driving vehicles," the Tempe police said in a statement. "It was in autonomous mode at the time of the collision, with a vehicle operator behind the wheel."

Autonomous mode means the car is driving on its own. During tests, a person sits behind the wheel as a safeguard.

Uber is conducting tests of autonomous vehicles in Arizona, Pittsburgh, Toronto and other areas. Uber said it has stopped testing the vehicles throughout the United States and Canada.


Uber said it is "fully cooperating" with local officials. "Our hearts go out to the victim's family," Uber said in a statement.


The National Transportation Safety Board said it is launching an investigation.

For self-driving cars, dealing with pedestrians and bicyclists is a challenging task. The self-driving industry has found quicker success with highway driving, which is a less complicated environment.

Uber has previously grounded its vehicles while investigating a crash. In 2017, Uber briefly pulled its vehicles from roads after an Uber self-driving vehicle in Tempe landed on its side.

Arizona is a hotbed of self-driving car development. Earlier this month, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey updated an executive order to allow self-driving cars to drive on state roads without a test driver behind the wheel.

Related: Loophole would protect self-driving companies from lawsuits

Meanwhile, Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google's parent company, is launching a public self-driving car service this year in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Companies such as GM's Cruise and Intel are also testing in the state.

Arizona has little inclement weather. This makes it more appealing for self-driving cars, which can struggle in rain or during snowfall.

This isn't the first futuristic car involved in a fatal crash. In 2016, a man driving a Tesla was killed while its autopilot system was activated. But Tesla Autopilot is partially autonomous. A human driver is required to handle much of the driving.

However, Uber's system is designed to fully replace a human driver.
So, where are they messing up with this?
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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-03-19 09:56pm

We are talking about Uber here. A company that hasn't figured out how to make a profit, despite cutting costs by ignoring laws it doesn't like. A company that had its self driving cars running red lights while it was testing them without the required permit. After they had been ordered to stop testing due to their lack of permits.

Also, Uber recently settled a lawsuit alleging that it was stealing trade secrets from Waymo, paying Waymo $245 million.

So my guess is that Uber are skipping important steps in a rush to be first. Steps like halting testing until they have properly replaced any Waymo trade secrets they had to remove.

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Re: General Automation Thread

Post by GuppyShark » 2018-03-20 09:56pm

No amount of software can bend the laws of physics. People get hit by trains, they will get hit by self-driving cars.

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